A few days ago the Singapore Slammers entered the Singapore stretch of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) in third place, but with the participation of Serena Williams looming. She seemed to be exactly what the team needed to get over the hump as they trailed in the standings. When she pulled out of the IPTL it seemed to hurt her team's chances of doing well in the event. However, the Singapore Slammers have worked their way back into top-two positioning over the last couple of days. Part of the team's success has been due to the play of Australian Nick Kyrgios and Dutch player Keke Bertens.

Kyrgios making amends for Shanghai?

I felt that Kyrgios would be a motivated player heading into the IPTL season. When last we saw him he was tanking his match in Shanghai, a matter that earned him a suspension. A reputation as a match tanker is a strong current to be swimming against. Perhaps that setback put him under some pressure to try harder in an event like the IPTL, one that players often do not get too pumped up for. So far in his Singapore matches he has played well.

On Tuesday, Nick Kyrgios defeated Fernando Verdasco handily 6-1 in a 19-minute set of tennis. That win helped the Singapore Slammers to a 29-16 compiled-games victory. On Wednesday the Slammers beat the UAE Royals with Kyrgios winning the tough set in the five that were played.

He beat Tomas Berdych 6-5 in the men's singles set, a result that helped the Slammers to a 30-18 victory.

Keke Bertens crushing all in path

Keke Bertens of the Netherlands has certainly been effective too. She pulled double duty on Wednesday, meaning that she played in both singles and doubles. In doubles she partnered with Carmelo Melo for a 6-4 victory after beating Ana Ivanovic 6-2 in singles.

Earlier in Singapore she beat Jelena Jankovic easily and she won another mixed-doubles set. In the last two days she has gone 4-0 and appears to be a candidate for the tournament's best player.

Kyrgios, Bertens, and their team now sit in 2nd place in the standings. If they can hold that position then on December 11th they will play in the IPTL final.

Next up, the Slammers face the Indian Aces on Thursday. After that the matches shift to India for the final days of action.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!